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The idea of Hell being a place of fiery torment goes way back to the pagan beliefs of the ancient Babylonians, Egyptians & Assyrians...and countless other ancient cultures.
Originally posted by JohnPhoenix
I will attempt to respond to this.
The Bible tells us God punishes the wicked. God made Satan. God cast Satan into Hell. Surely as one of Gods creations he loves Satan so much he would not do this right?
God gives us Free will and teaches us Sin separates us from Him. He gives us a set of things to do to redeem ourselves to Him so we can be with Him in eternity. If we fail to do those things we are wicked because of our Sin and will be cast away from Him. He still loves us, but we made the choice to defy Him by not doing the things he told us to do to redeem ourselves.
So all He did was set up the system and gave the choice to Us if we wanted to be on His side or not. He didn't want to create robots. This is His way of finding out who of his creations would be loyal to Him and deserve his everlasting life in Heaven.
Now, Satan knows all of this and he's really ticked off that God cast him out of heaven and stopped him from taking over. The more he gets people to believe there is not a real Hell the more people won't bother to do what God said to do to be redeemed to Him. Satan wins the souls, God loses them.
Therefore one must believe heaven and hell are both real for anything in the Bible to make since to them, because that is the core of the message. You cannot say you believe in the Bible and Not believe in hell. If you do, you are a person who has been deceived by Satan and really have no idea what the Bible is all about.
(That's how it was taught to me anyway- I don't see anything in the Bible that contradicts this)
Originally posted by Dark Ghost
I do not agree. If Satan does indeed exist, then it is illogical for God to compare our sins with sins of Satan . Satan would be much more knowledgeable on the nature of God and would be much better informed on what God truly wants - after all he is a fallen angel. Human beings have a limited capacity to understand things in this world. It is very unreasonable to compare human beings with an angel, and then to punish them in an equal manner.
What happens if all humans decide not to believe in God or follow his teachings? What was the point in their creations? God must have known that some would and some would not believe. Why did God give so much power to Satan if he knew what the consequences would be? He must have seen this coming or he is not all-powerful and all-knowing.
I don't mean to be rude, but I think you have been grossly misguided in your teachings. A loving, merciful, forgiving and omniscient God would not allow the creation of a place where ONE, let alone most, of His creations would burn and suffer for eternity. This idea of a Hell has been used as a scare tactic to get people to do things that the Church deems necessary.
Originally posted by Dark Ghost
I agree with the OP. There have been many threads lately on the issue of Hell. Nobody has been able to justify how a loving God would allow the creation of a place where one of his children will suffer eternally. There is no decent explanation.
Originally posted by Equinox99
Satan's powers are only limited to materials and not our own thoughts. He cannot influence the spirit unless you are on his path. If you are good then Satan can only tempt you, and not make you. God may even test the person, and let the devil do to him what was done onto Jobs. It is up to us to keep a watchful eye for this kind of temptation and reject it.
That is the beauty about God giving us the power of freewill, he won't interfere with Satan's path nor ours, until judgment day. God indeed knew that some would not be able to handle their Earthly temptations, so he sent Jesus to help us. If you repent and are truly sorry, become born again and accept Jesus as your savior, you will enter in the kingdom of God.
God gave us a set of rules and certain paths to avoid. Trying to justify your sins by saying God is an all loving God, and caring God, still doesn't make your sins go away. People incorporate their own beliefs when they see they can't make the standards of their past beliefs. I do not care if there is a hell or not because, if there was, then the signs were given to me. If there wasn't, then I am glad I am not there. If you live your life as a great person then I do not see why you should be thrown in hell, But it is not my decision.